“Money don’t get everything it’s true,
But what it don’t get I can’t use
So give me money (That’s what I want),
A little money (That’s what I want)”
Barry Gordy and Janie Bradford wrote those words a generation ago, but they still express the cry of so many of us, whatever our age.
“Namma, can I have that?” she looked away from the television commercial with those big eyes and waited for my answer. The doll she saw was so lifelike, packaged and advertised so cleverly. This was IT…every little girl’s dream doll, and my granddaughter wanted it! When we saw one in a store, it came strapped in securely by tiny metal twist ties and slim strips of invisible plastic tape. It took forever to unwrap the thing. Anticipation, excitement, joy…lasted about a week.
We have all experienced this kind of yearning, and what it is like to have the momentary thrill of opening the package and holding it in our hands. For one brief nanosecond we even fool ourselves and think, I know that when I have IT, I won’t ever want or ask for anything again…that is until it breaks, or I see someone who has a newer, more adorable doll, or I just grow accustomed to it and lose interest.
I love the story The Wind in the Willows. How many of us can relate to Mr. Toad? He was captivated by the prospect of owning a Gypsy wagon. He exclaimed to his friends, “There’s real life for you embodied in that little cart. The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the rolling downs! Here today, up and off somewhere else tomorrow! The whole world before you!”
Painted in impossibly loud colors…this was IT! Until the second day in his beautiful Gypsy wagon, when they were blinded by a cloud of dust. Toad had only a moment’s glimpse of the plate glass and rich morocco from the newfangled machine that sped by. IT was a magnificent motorcar, breath-taking, intoxicating…and now his love for the little cart was over. His eyes became like pinwheels, spinning with new desires…this was IT! And once again, he was smitten-controlled by desire that would not be satisfied.
Why does the human heart never find happiness in “stuff”? Whether it is a bigger house, a newer car, or the latest designer dress, we want more. Try as we might, stoically determined, we starve our senses, deny ourselves, grit our teeth, clench our fists and fight, fight, FIGHT…but still that craving for more never leaves us. Proverbs 27:20 says, “Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”
Jesus spoke of the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches which choke the life out of a person. He warns us not to live for possessions or wealth, which whither and fade like summer wildflowers. We need to realize that when we look to possessions as a means to lasting happiness, we are settling for too little. Our hearts don’t want IT…they want HIM!
Here’s something to remember: all the wealth (lots or little) that we have belongs to God. Sometimes He gives; sometimes He takes away. Even the breath we breathe isn’t ours…not really—it is a gift. We may have our name on the title of our home; our name may be on the checks we write, but that doesn’t mean God has given up the ownership of all we possess! That we are His and all we have is His should bring us a sense of peace…does it? Can you see yourself in His safe hands?
Today, I’d like to leave you with three questions:
- All you desire—new car, new job, new relationship, new _______ (fill in the blank)—will it ultimately satisfy you?
- What is it you are really looking for? Happiness, security, significance…aren’t these things only God can give?
- Think of all you have right now. Since God gave it to you, and it isn’t yours to keep, how are you stewarding His stuff?